Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 365 - Victory Lap

For the first run in this streak, it was 9F and windy. It was brutal.

Today, it was 52F .

The Earth is in almost exactly the same spot relative to the sun, less than one degree difference, and yet, it could have been May.

This was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

Without the snow and ice and that damn windchill, today's run would be very much like most of the other 364.

I pulled out my VFFs. No threat of frostbite today.

I even pulled out a pair of shorty-short shorts. Sorry neighbors.

And, with my mileage goals met yesterday, I could retrace the route that kept me going, the route that I ran when I needed a day (mostly) off, or when I had no time to run, but had to run anyway.

With the dog by my side, jumping and spinning with excitement like a hyper-active kid on caffeine on a pogo-stick on a trampoline, we started the watch and made for the 1.4 mile safety route.

My safety route includes a tiny stretch of trail nestled in a spot of woods. These woods have been my refuge so many times this year, giving me shelter from wind, sun, rain, sleet, and the world in general. This trail never failed to lift my mood and clear my head. It was great to be able to run it again, without snow.

After the woods, headed home, I checked the GPS watch... 1.01 miles. There it was. For the 365th day in a row, I'd run at least a mile. And every one of those runs took place outside. A moment that seemed so impossibly far away not that long ago, had arrived. It felt pretty damn good.

When we came to our street, the home stretch, that feeling was back. It's that familiar feeling that comes at the end of almost every run. The feeling of not wanting the run to end. And this time, it didn't.

We skipped the last turn and took one more lap of the neighborhood, including the winding street where dozens of our longer home runs have started and finished.

Our street came back around, and this time we took it. We picked up the pace on the gentle rise, waved at a couple neighbors, and when we hit the line, I stopped the watch.

And now... off to the pub.

Good running,

Numbers: 2.0 miles

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 364 - Press Conference

Press Conference Transcript

Doug of DougRun365: I'd like to thank you all for coming. I have a brief statement and then I'll be taking a few questions.

As some of you may know, I've been running and writing every day this year.


Seriously? No one?

Doesn't matter… I've been running, outside, every day so far this year, and writing every day as well. Ok, I've posted something to the blog every day. I'm not sure I can call each and every post "writing".

Anyway, as 2010 draws to a close, I wanted to come forward with something… personal.

I'm blind.

(Collective Gasp)

I've been blind for the last 6 years. I lost my vision when I was attacked by a rouge beaver. Bastard clawed my eyes right out.

I know, crazy, right?

Ok… I'll take questions now… Yes, you in the back.

The Only Reporter to Show Up: Uh, yeah… Don't you mean "rogue" beaver? Or were you in fact attacked by a beaver wearing makeup?

Oh, and if you're blind, how did you know I had my hand up for a question?

Doug: Yes, thank you, I meant "rogue", not "rouge". I mix those two up a lot. And... um, yeah... heh, heh... you got me. I'm not actually blind.

(Collective harrumphs)

Doug: Here's the deal… some people with very little else to do have been reading this blog for months, a few have been reading all year. I felt like they deserved some type of big finish… a surprise ending… you know, a big reveal… something to justify the time they've spent reading 365 day's worth of rambling sputum, touristy snapshots, and an exhibitionistic fountain fetish.

Reporter: That's stupid. I'm leaving.

Doug: Wait! Wait a minute. Truth is, the year is going to end. The streak will be over. It's been a fantastic experience, for me, but I imagine it'll be a little anti-climatic for those above average looking readers out there.

Reporter: You called a press conference for this? Are you retarded?

Doug: Think that would make a good story?

Reporter: No.

Doug: Then no, I'm definitely not retarded.

Reporter: I'm not so sure.

Doug: Look. The streak will just, stop. There isn't a big finish. There's no trophy presentation. It just ends. And that's fine by me. That chapter will end and another will begin. I'll keep running, and I'll keep writing, but sure as hell not every day. But to have it just end... I just thought that it might leave those people who've followed this little adventure wishing for some type of, I don't know… closure.

Reporter: I've got your closure, right here…jackass.

(Door slams)

Doug (speaking to an empty room): Maybe a "Best of" post…

Good running,

P.S. All readers are welcome to the "Glad that's over/365th run is done" gathering at Brockway Pub in Carmel at noon on Friday. That's tomorrow, people. No running required.

Numbers: 6.3 miles, through slushy slop, in shorts!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 363 - The Last Fountain

Know what's more stupid than running every day for a year?

Mileage goals. Mileage goals are really, really stupid.

Mileage goals push you to run longer than you know you should, just to hit a number. And then, after you hit your goal, you're right back at zero again.

And know what's more stupid than a mileage goal? Me! I'm so stupid, I'm chasing a stupid mileage goal, even though I know it's stupid.

That's why I was out pounding (too much) pavement this morning. I think it was still morning. Doesn't matter.

I plodded down the aforementioned Monon Trail to the seriously overrated Central Park. Not the New York City Central Park, which is most certainly the greatest park, and greatest urban running spot, in the universe. No, Carmel's Central Park, which is, as far as I can tell, the world's largest park without any grass. It's full of wild flowers and marshes and paths that wind around so much that you have no idea where they start, or finish, or how to get to them, since you can't walk across the expanse of wild flowers or through the marshes.

Anyway, I made it to the park, and around the park, the stupid pile-miles-on long way, and turned for home. Still a couple miles out, I passed a fountain, the one in Carmel's Rotary Plaza.* I've been in this fountain before, and I thought to myself "Hey, this might make a fun picture, me standing in the snow-filled fountain, as the last fountain of the year."

I pulled off the trail, stopped my watch, pulled my phone out, removed a glove, and all of the other things one does to get ready to take a picture. Meanwhile, the dog, or her own, I swear, decided she'd hop into the fountain herself, and defile it in her own particular style...

Apparently, Mandee does not care for the Rotary.

I know. I'm sorry, but it was impossible to resist.

Here's a palate cleanser...

Hot Chocolate stand... adorable, right?

If I'd had a dollar on me, and the kids, I'm assuming it was kids, had been out, I'd have bought some of their over-priced, and probably not very hot, hot chocolate. As long as their dad isn't in the Rotary.

Good running,

*For those who haven't been following along... I have a thing for getting into fountains. Check out the link on the right for a map, with pictures, of fountains I've defiled.

Numbers: 7.1 miles

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 362 - NordicTrack Dreadmill

I've made no secret of the fact that my staycation has one prime directive... do as little as possible.

I run. I blog. I sleep. I lounge. I may go see a movie. Occasionally I eat.

The lounging part of the week has re-introduced me to daytime TV. Which blows.

It's also introduced me to one thing that blows especially hard: The Nordic Track Treadmill commercials. I know, I've bemoaned the evil treadmill before, but this new assault requires a counter.

First, it's an advertisement for a treadmill. So it's obviously deceitful and evil.

Second, the treadmill includes some lame-ass "workouts" from Jillian Michaels, who apparently is on TV and therefore someone people look to for workout advice. Let me shine a little light on this for you... Jillian is not getting up early every morning typing out your workout. She doesn't know you're alive.

Third, and most upsetting, the treadmill is linked to Google Maps. I love Google Maps, but seeing it used by the dark side is disturbing. The idea is that you map a route and "run" that route. It's punctuated by a woman who says "I can run in Central Park!"

The first time I heard this, I threw up in my mouth. Not a little, a lot.

Folks, you can't run in Central Park from your basement. The 7-inch screen is not a substitute for reality. It's like watching an episode of Friends and saying your dating Jennifer Aniston.

I guarantee that a run around your neighborhood, even a run around a Target parking lot, will be more like running in Central Park than running on this stupid treadmill.

These abominations sell for $3000. Here's an idea. Take $100 to a good running store and buy a pair of shoes. Add in another $400 and get some cold-weather gear. Then spend $1000 on a 2-day trip to New York City and run in the actual, analog, 3-D, full-sensory experience, Central Park... the one with trees, and a zoo, and horse drawn carriages, and sky. And then, have a nice dinner and catch a show. Pocket the rest of the money. Or, spend the other $1500 on a trip to Miami, or Austin, or San Francisco, or Sedona, or Paris, or Rome, or Maui, or anywhere else you want to run, and run there, for real.

If you aren't moving across the surface of the planet, you're not running. You're imitating a hamster. Get outside!

Sure as hell beats running in your basement, staring at a screen that's trying to convince you you're somewhere else.

Remember, every time you run on a treadmill, an angel's wings are ripped off.

Good running,

P.S. Reminder, all readers are invited to Brockway Pub in Carmel sometime around noon on Friday for a 365th run pint. If you can make it, drop me a note in comments, Facebook, or at

Numbers: 5.0 miles with Mike, dancing with the devil on the slick streets of some neighborhood.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 361 - Hagan Burke Trail

Holy frozen snot, Batman... the wind sure was cold today.

Oh, speaking of frozen snot... here's a little cold weather running tip: If you get a little nose-run running out of your nose while you're out, and who doesn't, wipe it high up on the back of your glove. The last thing you want, aside from frozen snot on your upper lip, is frozen snot on your gloves, because that will make for a cold spot on your hands. Depositing it as far up your wrist as you can will a) likely put it inside the cuff of your jacket, keeping it out of the wind and hopefully unfrozen, and b) on the more dense elastic portion of the glove, so even if the snot does freeze, it won't have soaked in and will be away from your skin.

Glad you stopped by?

For those who are still reading, here are some photos from a special little bit of multi-use path called the Hagan Burke Trail.

This not-quite-2-mile stretch of asphalt is a spur off of the ever-popular Monon Trail.

The Monon Trail, a wildly successful rail-to-trail project in Marion and Hamilton Counties here in Central Indiana, is to multi-use trails what the Interstate is to roads. It's popular, crowded, straight, and with the exception of a couple bridges, boring as hell. It's as close to being on a treadmill as one can get without actually being on a treadmill. Still, it serves it's purpose, and we are lucky to have it.

In contrast, the new Hagan Burke trail, which spurs off of the Monon just north of 136th street and terminates at the146th street multi-use path, itself was still unforgivably unplowed, has turns, both left and right, and even goes up and down a little.

This is not your typical multi-use trail, thankfully.

It goes under busy roads, not with massive concrete tunnels that act as highly efficient wind concentrators, but with gently curving, almost quaint, dips under the existing bridges.

We don't need no stinkin' tunnel.

For most of it's length, Hagan Burke hugs Cool Creek, which even at 24F was still babbling, as all good brooks should, reminding the runner that he was indeed outside and just a few feet from nature, though he is also on asphalt and glad for the mostly reasonable traction.

Look, that's Cool Creek.

The trail also has it's own charming little bridges and boardwalky bits.

Rustic steel bridge crossing the creek

Boardwalky bridge caked with evil ice and hard packed snow.

The budget for signage must have been pretty stout, because there are signs everywhere, especially here...
Take a look at these signs and you tell me which way to go.
(Click image to see a larger version.)

Given the scarcity of passable pedestrian paths around here, the Hagan Burke Trail is a delightful bit of asphalt.

Oh, and it's nice to see that the Carmel Dept. of Parks and Recreation has a sense of humor.

Mandee laughed so hard at this that she had to poop.

Good running,

P.S. If I manage to make it Friday without getting hit by a car or breaking my ankle on the ice, all readers are invited to join me for part or all of my 365th run and/or a pint after at Brockway Pub in Carmel sometime around noon. Please RSVP in comments, Facebook, or at and let me know if you want to run or not and if so, how far. Hope to see all 3 of you above average looking readers there on Friday.

Numbers: 6.4 miles on asphalt, and occasionally packed snow and ice that was on top of said asphalt.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 360 - Next Year

I don't know about your house, but mine is still littered with wrapping remnants, sweater boxes, and dead batteries.

Ok, so I'm a little slow on the clean-up. I've been very busy. Do you have any idea how much time it takes to watch an entire season of Battlestar Galactica?*

I'm on vacation this week. Aside from running and writing, I'm determined to do as little as possible. I am actively searching for mindless entertainment. And sleep.

So I haven't spent much time pondering what many folks are pondering in this valley between holidays. I haven't put much thought into... next year.

I'm not much of a New Year's resolution kinda guy. Oh, sure, I've tried a couple times. And failed. And no, this year-long run streak doesn't count. It wasn't a resolution. More like my own personal revolution that happened to start Jan 1st.

Anyway, because I know some people are thinking about resolutions, and because all right-thinking people turn to running blogs for advice, I'm going to lay some on ya.

Here goes...

Don't make any resolutions.

Ok, on to new business... let's see... Did I mention that the dog ate my egg sandwich? What? Explain? Isn't it obvious?

Resolutions are stupid. They are thinly disguised self-bashing. We act like we're promising ourselves something, when really we're looking back at the last year, picking out the things we feel worst about, and punishing ourselves with unrealistic goals. And when we don't live up to our goals, we feel even worse.

Skip the resolutions. Don't promise yourself, or anyone else for that matter, anything. Instead, be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. And be true to yourself. Make yourself a priority. Do something, anything, just for you.

Do that when you can over the next few months, and you'll start to see yourself, and the world, differently. And you'll find yourself on the path the the best version of you.

And if that version of you enjoys a nice run, all the better.

Good running,

*11 hours, for season one, not including restroom breaks

Numbers: 3.0 miles, same course as usual. Did see 2 other runners out there today, though.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 359 - Flock of Inflatables

Ok, guys... just because Costco has something for sale, that doesn't mean you have to buy it.

It doesn't even mean it's you should buy it.

Unless you are charging admission, the maximum acceptable number of inflatables is two per yard. Two... per yard. And that's not two in the front, two in each side yard, and two in the back. Two, total. There's Christmas spirit, and then there's Christmas psycho.

Hope all of you above average looking readers had a most excellent Christmas Day. How does the blog look on your new iPad?

Because Santa brought me some Patron and Godiva chocolates, my gift to myself this year was a wonderful 3 mile run. Sure, it was on the same old route, but running on Christmas makes everything about the run, I don't know... just, better. There's no rush. I don't have to squeeze the run in between this and that. There are hardly any cars on the streets. The people you pass aren't staring at the ground, trying to act like you aren't there. They're cheerful and smiley and making actual human eye contact.

As I was wrapping up the run, I realized that running was just about the only fitness activity one can do outside, any (or every) day of the year, no matter what the climate. If I wanted to swim, every pool is closed today, or frozen over. Tennis? Clubs are closed and courts are under 4 inches of snow. Cycling? Suicide on the snowy, icy roads. I totally lurve the simplicity of running.

Don't let a little thing like cold, or snow, or a religious holiday keep you from doing something for yourself. Even if you have to do it inside.

Good running,

P.S. If you happen to see the dog over the next few days and notice the lovely sheen on her fur, please don't compliment her on it. She got that sheen from the two eggs she scarfed off my plate I left unguarded for 10 seconds. I'd rather not encourage that particular behavior. She's lucky I had more eggs, or my breakfast would've been fried dog on toast.

Numbers: 3.0 miles dodging reindeer droppings.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 358 - Christmas Eve Nightmare

I have a recurring nightmare. Actually I have several, but there's one that's appropriate. I'll cover that one this time....

In the nightmare, it's late on Christmas Eve and suddenly I realize that I haven't bought any presents for my loved ones. I'm driving around like mad trying to find a store that's open. Finally, I find myself scurrying around a convenience store, desperately buying pathetic Christmas gifts.

I know, horrible, right?

Well, I was thisclose to having that nightmare turn to reality tonight.

I've been asking my kids for 2 weeks, daily for the last week, to come up with ideas for gifts for their mom.

Day after day, we'd venture out for groceries, or other sundry errands, and I'd implore them "Please, let's look around for something for your mom... please!"

From the youngest, I got "Let me think about it." From the middle one, I got "I've tried! I can't think of anything!" And from the oldest, "I'm sleeping!!!"

And then, this evening, Christmas Eve, at 4:36pm during a GF family gathering, the middle one says, via text from the other room, "We need 2 get mom a gift still."

H. F. S.

WHAM!!! Suddenly, I see myself trying to convince the kids that a pine tree air freshener, a 2-liter of Mr. Pibb, and a King Size Snickers are dandy gifts.

As politely as one can exit a huge family gathering 10 minutes after presents have been opened, we made haste. We made a big ol' pile of haste.

Being the father of a 16-yr old daughter has its challenges. But at this moment, it was a life saver. "Dad, see what time Vera Bradley closes."

WHOOSH!!! My iPhone was out, Google maps was queried, the number was dialed... 6:00pm! Hazzah!

Surgical strike... we moved into Very Bradley in the standard Delta formation. The daughter surveyed the landscape and selected goods. The boys weighed in. Matching wallet procured. 25% off... sweet. And we're clear... no casualties.

One hit, one kill. Sniper Shopping at its best. Nightmare averted, at least for another year.

But if some day you receive a Cherry Coke Slushee from me for Christmas, go easy on me.

Good running,

P.S. Oh, and I came home to find that I'd been visited by the Beer Fairy, who left me a 4-pack of Tyranena's Hop Whore Imperial India Pale Ale. If that doesn't say Merry Christmas, then I don't know what does.

Numbers: 2.8 miles around the neighborhood

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 357 - To the Post Office!

I decided to free myself from my self-imposed prison yard, break free from the same old neighborhood route, and run an errand. Get it? Run an errand... I know, lame... I'll try to do better.

The errand was the Post Office, less than 2 miles away, if I take the shortcut through the woods. Problem with the shortcut is that it's about calf-deep in snow.

Problem with calf-deep snow is that the shoes I'm running in now are super-duper light and super-duper fast racing flats.

Problem with super-duper light and super-duper fast racing flats is that they're made with holes in the bottoms. Seriously... look...

Those holes are really holes... all the way through. And even the inside has holes...

The idea is that the super-speedy runners who would wear super-duper light and super-duper fast racing flats need air to flow through them to keep their feet cool, and also to keep sweat from building up inside the shoes, turning the super-duper light racing flats into sloshy, heavy clogs.

That's all great, if you're super-speedy. And it's July.

If it's December, and your tromping through calf-deep snow, those holes become snow and/or slush conduits, usher that cold wetness from the outside to the inside of the shoes. Trust me on this, and this should probably be obvious, but just in case... you want snow and/or slush to stay on the outside of your shoes.

Luckily, there's an easy fix. As the great Tim Conway said... no wait, it was Tim Allen. I always get those two confused, don't you? Anyway, as the great Tim Allen said, if you can't fix it, duct-it...

Adhesive magic

Is there anything duct tape can't do? (Warning: Don't click on that link unless you have absolutely nothing else to do.)

So the run went off without a hitch. Also without damp, cold feet.

However, I do have a short rant...


In what universe is it acceptable for clear your sidewalk and not do the last 15 feet to the adjoining driveway?

I get it. It's not your property. But look at what you've done here. What value have you added for your customers? None! You've just told your customer that you clear the sidewalk because someone said you have to. You've told them you don't really care about their comfort or safety. You've cleared 150 feet of sidewalk, and not the last 15 feet that would make the sidewalk passable. You've cleared a path to nowhere.

Here's an idea for the new year: When we're doing something, let's stand back and take at look at what we're doing and ask ourselves if it makes sense. Not "Did I meet the minimum requirement?", but "Did I meet the need?"

And while I'm at it, don't try to protect yourself by putting warnings on packaging that you know we'll just ignore...

It confuses the children.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.6 miles

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 356 - Just like yesterday

Wanna know the worst part of winter running?

It's not the snow. It's not the ice. It's not the sleet. It's not the wind.

Though, I really do hate the wind.

No, the worst part is the monotony.

I only have one decent home-based route that doesn't include the use of sidewalks that likely won't see the sky again until March. Though I have been known to run in deep snow, it's makes for a couple of pretty cold feet, and we all know by now that I can't really go looking for cold feet for a while.

So, I'm stuck with the same route, every day.

One of the joys of running is the freedom to do it anywhere. Being tied to the same path, on the same streets, steals some of the magic.

But, in some ways, monotony is good. Not being distracted by newness can have it's advantages.

First, you can put your full attention on traction, which on days like today is not easy to find. One glance away from that layer of white death that you're trodding on, and you may find yourself flat on your tookus. Or your face. Or in the ER.

And the slush... you need to lookout for the slush.

Second, running the same route, day after day, leaves your mind free to explore itself. Without the distraction of anything new or interesting, your run can be a meditative exercise. The rhythm of your breath, and the rhythm of your steps (when you aren't sliding under a car), can turn your brain into a blank slate, perfect for finding inner peace, truth, and where you left your library card.

And the third good thing about monotony, well, there isn't one. And really, the first two weren't that great.

Still better than a treadmill, but I miss my trails. I miss my other routes. I need some clear sidewalks.

If I only had a snowblower.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.0 miles, same as yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 355 - Snow Blowers

We got dumped on again last night.

New snow piled on top of old snow.

As I was running down my street, heading out for a quick jaunt, I had my first sighting of the elusive snow blower.

In Central Indiana we get one or two hefty snows a winter. We moan and complain about it, but honestly, we're pretty much lightweights. This isn't Minnesota.

That doesn't stop Lowe's and Ace Hardware and Home Depot from suckering guys into buying snow blowers.

No one likes shoveling snow. And some people simply can't. I can. I choose not to. If the car can make it up the driveway, it's good enough for me. It will melt soon enough.

But for the do-it-yourselfer who couldn't resist 15% off of a gas-powered SnowChucker3000 last February, this is his day. Today, he gets to back the car out, pull the tarp off of that manly red machine, pull it from the back of the garage, yank on the starter cord a couple dozen times, and then, for 20 minutes, he's king of the block.

The rooster tail of snow arcing into the side yard is a big middle finger to those who doubted him (cough, cough, his wife, cough). Just look how far it throws that snow. That's worth $450 right there. Sure, the high school kid next door offered to shovel it for $20, but he can't throw the snow nearly that far.

All too soon, the driveway and sidewalk are clear. He's run out of snow to throw. He takes a moment to soak in his accomplishment. Then, he puts his winter workhorse back in the corner of the garage until next year, and puts the car back, if he didn't beached it in the snow out on the street.

Me, in my neon jacket and tights and ridiculous shoes, I give him a wave and run on, slipping and sliding, hoping not to fall on my ass. He, with his rotund middle and beet-red face, waves back. I imagine he probably thinks I'm the idiot.

Meh, different strokes...

Good running,

Numbers: 3.0 miles on snowy and slushy streets.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 354 - Race Cars and Legos

One of the perks of being a dad to young boys is the chance to do, or redo, the kinds of childish/awesome things that boys love to do.

For example, you might pack up the boys, and head to the Hall of Fame Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

And maybe, like, say, if you were to go before the middle of next month, you might just happen to see this...

An amazingly detailed, and totally awesome, model of Indianapolis Motor Speedway... in Legos! 125,000 Legos. Including 3,000 little Lego people! I KNOW!!!

A chiropractor from Lebanon, IN (I know! I grew up there, too!) spent 8 years constructing this plastic wonder. Somebody's wife is very tolerant... or such a total bitch she could drive a man to spending 8 years in the basement with Legos... either way, works out great for us.

The detail is fantastic. You can take laps around this thing for days and notice something new every time by. There's the scoring pylon, pagoda, yard of bricks, hot pits stops, yellow shirts, Florence Henderson, Indiana Jones, Santa Claus, and a couple streakers.

 You suppose there's a tiny Lego IMS model inside the Lego model museum?

It's so big and colorful and fun, I dare you to check it out and not walk away with a smile.

And, for an added bonus, you are just steps away from some beautiful race cars.

The teenage girl opted out of this outing in favor of hanging with a swimming bud. She's too cool for anything so childish. I'm glad I'm not.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.1 miles on streets

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 353 - Christmas Day

Today was Christmas Day at our house. The kids go back to their mom's on Christmas Eve, so we moved the fun up a few days. Gives the kid a chance to enjoy their loot. Also gives me a chance to enjoy their enjoyment.

The unwrapping was fun, and memorable. My favorite tag "From: A Depressed Manta." Inside? A "blue ray" player. I slay myself.

My favorite moment, though, was when the daughter finally broke a smile. She'd spent the morning playing the role of disgruntled teenager. Tired, so very, very tired. And grumpy. And unimpressed. By anything.

But deep down, deep under that crusty exterior of indifference, my little girl still loves a day with nothing planned, and some new stuff to arrange in her room.

The boys have Tronned into their new XBox.

The dog is madly in love with the beef bone she found in her stocking.

And I wore a brand new long sleeve running top on my short run.

The highlight of the run was when the dog and I met Derek. Derek is a small boy, probably 4. He was walking with his grandmother, or perhaps his mother, if his mother is a procrastinator.

"Can I pet your dog?", Derek screamed as we ran by.

We trotted over and he rubbed the dog's head. And the dog buried her nose is Derek's little crotch. Derek didn't seem to mind. Surprisingly, neither did Grandma.

"Uhhhh... So, Derek... do you have a dog? You do?! Oh, that must be what she smells."

Yeah, right... she smells "Derek's dog". Please...

I'm thinking little Derek doesn't wipe very well. Mandee was digging for doggie gold, AKA the irresistible smell of poo.

30 seconds of awkward social interaction with strangers was enough for me. I wished Derek a Merry Christmas, extricated the hound from his sniff fest, and finished the run.

Canine-on-child molestation notwithstanding, it was a great, great day. I'm very lucky to be able to recognize, and appreciate, how special that is.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.0 miles on the neighborhood streets.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 352 - Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup

First there was It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. Christmas classics. We know their classics because they are in black and white. And really overacted.

Then Charlie Brown Christmas brought color, and children, and repetitive dancing.

The 80s gave us A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation. These movies show the reality of the holidays. There's a major award, and a turkey turned to jerky, and chinese duck, and a S.W.A.T team, and cursing.The magic of the holiday is left to the viewer.

And then came Elf. Elf manages to combine a child's innocent joy of the holiday with the cynical real world version. And if it doesn't turn you from scrooge to santa, then you are dead inside.

Oh, and I had a very nice, though short, run today. And we put the tree up.

Good running,

P.S. Ali correctly guessed yesterday's gift tag riddle... it was an iPod Touch... often called an iTouch... get it?... Index Finger... I touch. Yeah, well it was a big hit last Christmas. Ok, a round of applause for Ali...

Numbers: 2.3 miles on streets.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 351 - Wrapping Presents

I love wrapping presents. More than unwrapping presents.

I am NOT a fancy wrapper. Sheet of paper, cut straight, folded neatly, some tape.

If I'm wrapping something really special that needs a little something extra, I might stick on a stick-on bow. Probably not.

I don't even buy tags. I just snip a rectangle of wrapping paper. Turn it over, and... Presto! Free Tag!

The tags are actually my favorite part.

I inherited a tradition from my mom and step-dad of using the tags as riddles. Just the "From:" part, actually. You kinda need the "To:" part to be pretty straight-forward. Otherwise, Bobby might get a Barbie Corvette.

The idea is to give a hint as to what's inside. The trick is to make the hint hard enough that the gifted can't figure it out before they open it, but have it be obvious after they open it. Puns, historical references, inside jokes, codes, they're all fair game.

For example, last year one of my son's gifts was from Ned, Earl, Ralph, and Fred.

Get it? Ned, Earl, Ralph, and Fred. N.E.R. and F.

It was a NERF gun.

Another was a small box, about the size of a deck of cards, and the tag said "From: The Index Finger."


I highly recommend this practice. It's really fun, makes the wrapping process way more interesting, and lends itself to my personal preference for gift opening. I despise the Christmas morning feeding frenzy, like pirana devouring a dimwitted cow.

Each family member in turn gets a present. The card is read aloud, a moments pause for everyone to try to figure out the riddle, and then unwrapping and the reveal. And once the contents is known, you all share a chuckle, or a groan, or an "Oh, I get it!", or "That's just plain stupid."

Whatever, that's not the point. The point is that the giving and receiving are acknowledged, and appreciated, and most importantly, remembered.

Great occasions shouldn't be rushed. We only get so much time with family, and even less time with kids not clawing each other. If you don't slow down and pay attention, it'll fly by, and you won't even remember it.

Savor the good things.

Good running,

P.S. Feel free to post a guess as to the contents of the "From: The Index Finger." present in the comments, but only guesses. No fair posting if you know what the kid got last year.

Numbers: 3.0 miles on quiet streets, and the occasional cleared sidewalk.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 350 - Where have all the sidewalks gone?

I love to combine running with an errand. It's efficient. It's green as hell. And it gives me an opportunity to feel superior... "Why yes, I did run here. Oh, no... shucks, it's not too cold. I have what hanging from my nose?"

Here are the makings of an errand run:

  • A busy day and really, really tender toesies, that kept me from running over lunch.
  • My son had his screws and plates removed from his arm this morning and they were waiting for me at the surgery place, all cleaned up and sterile and in what looks a lot like a urine sample cup.
  • I had just a few minutes between work and an important beer engagement with my running bud Marty.
  • Pour into a large mixing bowl and combine.

Here's the tricky part... since I was going to a hospital-like building, and seeing how they frown on things not sterile, let alone things that lick their own butts, and then lick you, knowing full well that it's disgusting but doing it anyway, I wasn't going to be able to take the dog.

She knows when I'm getting ready for a run. I know she knows because she shifts from her normal hyper-active bouncing off the walls, shedding bushels or tiny dog hairs, self, to her slightly more disturbing, violently excited, leave a Bugs Bunny style silhouette hole in the door, take me for a run before I work myself up into a spontaneous warm fusion explosion and take out half-the county, mode.

The challenge is to get her into her crate before she turns into a WMD. There is only one way to manage this, and that is with a big fat lie. That's right. I lie to the dog. She thinks she's running with me, right up to the point I latch the crate. Works every time, because she's a dog.

Ok, back on point... the errand turned into a brush with death.

Ha! You totally don't care about me lying to the dog anymore, do you?

With a fresh dump of snow overnight, the sidewalks disappeared. That means that the only viable running is on the streets.

No problem.

Except the errand required me to use streets that aren't the quiet streets of my neighborhood. These streets would be populated by cars driven by drivers who are tired and beaten down from a day at the office and who probably think that running down a stranger and trying to get away with it is just the thing to put some excitement back into their humdrum suburban lives.

Take a look at what I had to work with...

I know! Crazy, right? And these cars/trucks weren't giving an inch. They were begging me to put a foot inside that white line.

The good news is, I was flying! There's nothing like the fear of vehicular homicide to get you running fast. Ah, sweet, sweet adrenaline.

Good running,

Numbers: 2.7 miles, most of it inches from death. But, I got the boy's hardware!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 349 - Gods, Conspiring

A conversation among deities that I'm pretty sure took place yesterday evening, just before I headed out for my run...

Streak Wrecking God: Dude, you're doing some serious havoc in the Midwest. Ku-f'in-dos!

God of Weather: Thanks, man. It was easy, really. Three words... "Canadian air mass."

SWG: No doubt. (Fist bump) Sweet how God of Physics worked in the salt and water trick.

GofW: Yeah, wicked stuff. Can't believe that running dude didn't take the hint. What a moron...

SWG: I know! Right?!? Who runs with frostbite. I really thought we had him. He is way more retarded than we gave him credit for.

GofW: Well, that was my best shot. Got anything else cookin'?

SWG: Nah, I'm bored with this dude. Every day, same crap. What the hell's he trying to prove, anyway?

God of HVAC: Excuse me... I couldn't help overhearing... I may be able to help out, and I love messing with muggles.

SWG: Watcha got?

GofHVAC: You almost had him with the frostbite, right? Let's f$ck with his head this time... I'll take his furnace out.

GofW: Oh, man... no. That's just cruel.

SWG: Screw you, wuss. Let's do it!

GofHVAC: Ok, here's the plan... when he's out on his run... Oh! Oh! I'll get my cousin, The Shoe Angel, to keep his toes warm while he's out there... that'll lull him into a nice vulnerable false sense of security... then, I'll seize up the blower motor in his furnace.

GofW: Guys, seriously... I've got it all programmed to go down to like 2F tonight, and I can't back it out now. Give the guy a...

SWG: Whoa, Weather Fairy... if you don't have the stomach for it, go fart a thunderstorm or something.

Satan: I'll handle the repair service, as usual. Aaaaaand done... I've removed all compatible blower motors from every service truck in the county... It'll be 24 hours before he gets one.

SWG: Enjoy your run, streak boy.

(and, scene)

Good running,

Numbers: 2.0 miles, taking it easy after stretching appointment, and 24 hours of frozen hell. Oh, and screw you Bryant. Good news is that as I type this, I have a working furnace again. Nice try boys. Seriously, excellent effort... did NOT see that coming.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 348 - Actual Shoes

After yesterday's dance with the frost devil, I wore normal shoes. If you call these normal.

No, they are not bowling shoes.

These awesome shoes are about as minimal as you can get. Ultra light. Decent ground feel. And the added bonus of letting my toes stay dry and share their heat with each other. Inside those dazzling shoes are a pair of SmartWool running socks, and another pair of socks over those to act as a wind break, since the shoes are built for speed, not for warmth.

Being my first run in anything other than VFFs, and, of course, yesterday's brush with amputation, I decided to stay close to home... just in case.

Good thing, too.

Oh, no... I was fine. It was the dog. She got slush up in her business. No, no... the between-her-paw-pads business. And she did not care for it one bit. So, I took her back in after 1.5 miles.

And I went back out.

That's right... 17F, windy, and slushy, and I went back out. I went back out because my feet felt GREAT!

What a revelation... warm feet! How could I have been so stupid to have been missing this? It was right here, all the time. This must be what the amish kids feel like on Rumspringa, or a defrocked priest, his first night at a singles bar.

My feet were so warm, so far above frozen flesh, that my brain was free to notice other things, like that my fingers were a little cold. Ok, a lot cold. So cold that my left pinky finger was sticking straight out.

Yes, I had gloves on. But the wind was wicked and the sun was setting, so the gloves needed a little help.

Thanks to some old windproof mitten shells, I was back out and feelin' perky.

Another couple of miles, and I decided that discretion would be a good play. Not wanting to tempt fate, after... you know... my toes... freezing... literally.

Reasonably normal shoes, wool running socks, and I was a new man. Ok, gently used man.

I pushed the VFF thing too far. In hindsight, it was stupid. I'm a huge supporter of minimalist running, but not at the cost of body parts... even the small ones.

There's nothing wrong with being a little obsessive-compulsive about some things, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the big things, like walking. Or, for that matter, the slightly more personal but still obsessive-compulsive things, like a running streak.

Keep chasing your goals, but also, keep perspective. And stay warm.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.4 miles, and all 10 toes present and accounted for.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 347 - Frosty

Remember the lecture I posted a couple days ago about running in the cold in VFFs? Yeah? Well make sure your feet are set, because your about to get whacked in the forehead by the irony bat.

Let me share an interesting bit of physics that occurred to me as I was wrapping up my run, a run that started with me deciding that I'd have a better/safer run on the roads than trudging through virgin snow on the trails.

As I rounded the last corner and finished off the run in the office parking lot, I noticed that my feet were wet. Really wet.

That's not the interesting part.

It was 14F outside. No sun. And the parking lot, as well as many of the roads I had just run on, were wet. There were even puddles.

Water freezes at 32F. That's what we call ice. Yet at 14F, there was still water.

That's the water-phase-changing magic of salt. Salt lowers the freezing point of water. That's why it's spread on roads and parking lots. No ice, no slipping, everyone's safe. Still that the interesting part.

Here's the interesting part. The water in those puddles, and on the road, and in the parking lot, and all over my feet, is also 14F.

My tissues aren't full of salt water, just plain water. The kind of water that freezes at 32F.

We all know what's coming, right?

Yep, I got a touch of frost bite today. After dozens of bitterly cold runs last winter, and several already this winter, runs in which I returned safely with numb but yet unfrozen skin, today I wasn't so lucky.

It wasn't until mid-afternoon that I knew anything was even wrong. Tips of a couple toes stung a bit when I walked around the office. Something was definitely up. And it wasn't a good something.

When I got home, I took my socks off to find the tips of three toes sporting big honkin' blisters. I'd feared they'd be black and half falling off, so blisters were a relief. (I thought about posting a picture, but really, who wants to look at blistery toes? No one.)

The internet, the digital age's free clinic, guided me to this page, which told me to dip my piggies in warm water, and keep them there. It's been a couple hours, and 2 warm-ups, and they feel better already.

I was only out for about 30 minutes. I've been out longer in colder temperatures. But the combination of frigid temps and salted water sucked the heat right out of my toes.

So, it will be conventional shoes for a few days. And socks. Thick socks.

I got lucky. I'd grown complacent and careless. Numb toes were nothing new. But, that numbness can hide more serious problems. Don't ignore numb toes. Or numb anythings, for that matter.

Good running,

Numbers: 4.0 miles, and, you know, the frostbite.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 346 - Thanksmas

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for one simple reason. No pressure.

Christmas, at least in the good ol' US of A, is pressure packed.

Let's compare...

Thanksgiving: The focus of Thanksgiving is thinking nice thoughts about the people and things that are good in your life. And food.
Christmas: The focus on Christmas is presents. I know, it's all about the baby Jesus... Puh-leeze... that's like saying the Super Bowl isn't about the commercials. We all give Christmas, and the Super Bowl, a wink and a nudge, but we know what they're really about.

C: All of those presents, you have to acquire them somehow. You spend money. You face the crowds and the traffic and the possibility of being stabbed if you grab the last Barbie Dream RV. You do your duty as an American consumer, you spend a lot of money.
T:Thanksgiving you bring a covered dish, most likely green bean casserole. Done.

C: Shopping for those gifts for your loved ones, and the obligatory other less-loved ones, is the real stress slap. What do they want? What do they need? Will they like it? What if they didn't buy anything for me? What if they spent more on me than I did on them? Do I buy her a Large or a Medium? (Too small, she thinks she's fat. Too big, she thinks you think she's fat. It's a mine field.)
T: Everyone likes green bean casserole. And even if they don't, they won't go hungry. Just means more for you.

C: Presents, because they're wrapped, create expectations. If someone just handed you a pair of earmuffs, you'd probably think "Oh, cool... earmuffs." But put those in a box and wrap them up and your mind goes wild. "What could be in there? Maybe a new watch, or a new iPod, or the Hope Diamond." Then you open it, and it's earmuffs.
T: Turkey, potatoes, green bean casserole, family, good conversation, football, nap. Expectations met.

C: All of those expectations lead, inevitably, to disappointment... real or imagined. They didn't like it as much as you thought they would. Their "Thank you" seemed insincere. I should have used the gold wrapping paper. I bought them a damn X and all they got me was a stupid, measly Y. I was really hoping someone was going to get me a Z.
T: All of the food and conversation and football inevitably lead to a satisfied feeling. Is there anything better than being genuinely satisfied, content, fulfilled, and full?

Here's the trick... all of the pressure associated with Christmas is avoidable. You may be bombarded by advertising, Christmas lists, family gatherings, but they can't make you feel pressured. You apply that pressure on yourself.

Take a Thanksgiving attitude with you over the next week and a half. Replace the pressure of presents with appreciation for the time you will have with people you care about.

If you feel you need want to give a gift, ignore the stressers. Find, or make, something you can easily afford. Give it gladly, with no expectations. None. No expectation of a gift in return, or of any specific reaction. A present is a gift, not a contract.

If a Thanksgiving guest brings green bean casserole to your house, you thank them even if you don't care for green bean casserole, right? You don't judge them, or your relationship with them, or whether your mashed potatoes will live up to their casserole. You accept it, peel off the foil, and serve it happily to your guests.

If you receive a Christmas gift, accept it gladly. And no matter what it is, thank the giver for thinking of you, not for what's in the box.

Don't mindlessly consume. Don't buy people crap. Think of each gift you give, and each that you receive, not as an exchange of goods or a checkmark on a list, but as a token of love, or at least appreciation.

If you do feel the Christmas stress building up inside you, put the credit card down, lace up your shoes, and hit the road After the run has helped you shed that layer of holiday hype, remember that Christmas could be as easy and carefree as Thanksgiving, if you let it.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.0 miles on/in snow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 345 - Happiest dog in the world

Sure it was cold. Sure it was raining. Did Mandee care?

I don't think so.

She also heartily disagrees with my assertion (Day 344 and Day 13) that water on ice is a bad thing.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.5 miles on streets and sidewalks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 344 - Five Fingers and Snow

I mentioned a while ago that I run in Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs), those funny looking shoes with toes. I made the change, cold turkey, about 15 months ago after running out of ideas on how to keep my body running. They work really well for me. Except in the winter.

The problem is that the shoes are called "minimalist" for a reason. There's almost nothing to them. That means that there isn't much between my little piggies and the freeziness that's all over the ground.

I'm not gonna sugar coat it. My toes get cold. They don't get dangerously cold, at least they haven't yet. Still, too often, when I get home, my toes will sting for a bit. Sometimes they're just plain numb.

Typical DR365 Reader: So why the hell don't you put on some normal damn shoes, freak?

Me: Excellent question. You're not only above average looking, but also insightful.

Typical DR365 Reader: Thanks, I think.

Running in minimalist shoes has changed my gait and my foot strike to the point that running in conventional shoes just doesn't work. In less than a mile, everything's wrong, everything hurts. If I were to try regular running shoes, it would be like someone who's used to running in running shoes trying to run in high-heels. I can't even walk in running shoes anymore.

All of these runs, in all kinds of conditions, and the shoes have performed really well. And, I've learned a lot about running in VFFs when it's cold out. Don't believe me? Here, I'll show you...
  1. Since one generally doesn't wear socks with VFFs, it's a really, really good idea to keep your feet dry when it's cold out. Avoid puddles, wet grass, falling through ice.
  2. It's also a good idea to avoid snow because snow will suck the heat out of your feet. Stay on pavement, or sidewalk, or leaves, when you can.
  3. Rule #1 trumps rule #2. Given a choice, snow is better than a wet street. The colder it is, the truer this gets.
  4. Most of the people who act like they're interested in your shoes, aren't. They just want to find out want kind of nut job would wear something so ridiculous out in public. It's the same reason we look in to see what kind of idiot could drive so slow when we pass them.
  5. The wrap-your-feet-in-neoprene Flow model of VFFs is touted as being good for cold weather running on the Vibram website. They aren't. I have a pair, and I see no difference, except that they are hard as hell to get on.
  6. VFFs are mostly flat bottomed. That means zippo traction on slippery surfaces. Ice is dangerous. Wet ice is the worst. Even mud is bad. Especially when you happen to trod upon a layer of mud that has been warmed by the sun and is sitting on top of a still frozen layer. That's what we call "fall bait".
See that slide mark there?
That's where I relearned rule #6.
Stupid mud. 

See, that's 6 things, right off the top of my head.

I'll admit, there are days when a I could really use the protection of a pair of socks. I even have a pair of less-unusual shoes to try once the streak is over, ones that will keep my toes warm, or at least warmer. I'm not generally superstitious, but still... I don't want to change anything, perhaps not even my underwear, until I hit 365. So those will stay in the box a few more weeks.

Fear of change and the benefits of running in minimal shoes are enough to keep me running in VFFs, despite the cold toes. And as a bonus, VFFs leave pretty cool foot prints.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.4 miles on snowy trails, and only one minor fall.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 343 - Left Behind

I love group runs. We've talked about this. The camaraderie, conversation, foul humor... what's not to like.

But there are days when your body tells you it needs to break away from the group.

The dynamics of the group change over time. And they change depending on who's running. If there's a newcomer, then the group let's them dictate the pace, unless they are faster than the group, in which case it's really up to the new guy to slow it down.

But when it's the usual suspects, there's a default pace that just, happens. No one sets the pace. There's no plan. The group starts and they start at more or less the same speed.

Here's the problem... I'm the only member of this particular group stupid enough to try to run every day for a year. These guys employ actual rest days. As for me, I've got 342 days worth of wear and tear piling up.

For most of the year, I could hang with these guys. Something about the cold, and the fear of blowing out an achilles or two, has slowed me down.

So today, after about half a mile, I told 'em "Guys, I'm dropping off. You guys go ahead. See you at the end."

That's running buddy talk for "I'm going to go slower and shorter than you. I've acknowledged it, now please, let's not speak of this again."

It was the smart thing to do. I only cut about 0.6 miles off of what they did, but the pace they started with was too fast. My creaky parts didn't have time to warm up. If I'd stayed with them, I'd have been in a world of hurt.

I was still happy with my run. Once I slowed up, I was able to warm up, and my pace picked up. By the end, I was clipping along just fine.

What I missed was the stories, and the laughs, and likely a couple good-natured insults. But sometimes we need to do the smart thing, not the fun thing, so that we can do more of the fun thing, later.

It's a tricky balancing game. A group can pull you to levels of performance that you never knew possible. But if you aren't careful, trying to hang when you shouldn't can put you on the sidelines.

I'm confident that next month, after a some rest and recuperation, I'll be right on their collective shoulders, in easy earshot of things I'll wish I'd never heard.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.4 miles on asphalt.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 342 - Imagine

30 years ago (tomorrow) I was standing in my parent's kitchen, having just come down from getting dressed for school. The Today Show was on, and they were talking non-stop about how John Lennon had been shot and killed the previous evening. I was stunned. I stood, motionless, mouth agape, trying to understand how this could possibly be true. I didn’t understand how my parents could wash dishes and drink coffee and not be staring at the screen. I was numb. I was 15. It was my first assassination.

I had just started listening to The Beatles. I wore out Sgt. Pepper. I found Robber Soul buried in my mom’s albums and adopted it. And, to be honest, and more than a little embarrassed, as I stood in shock in the kitchen that morning, I was also trying to remember which Beatle was John. It seems ridiculous now, but I was just learning. I was a n00b.

Over time, years, I grew to understand just how big of a loss this was. As I listened to his music more, I grew to admire, and relate to, John’s almost painful yearning for peace and his unwavering belief in the power of truth and love. As I read more and watched more and listened even more, I appreciated his quick and sharp wit. He could make his point, spot on, and usually as a joke to ease the tension. As I learned more, I longed for more. I longed for more of John Lennon.

While in NYC 5 years ago for the marathon, one of the things I insisted on seeing was the memorial for John Lennon in Central Park. I also wanted to see the Dakota, the building where he and Yoko lived. A sort of pilgrimage I guess, the best I could manage short of a trip to Liverpool. 

The Dakota was different than I had expected. I pictured a door that opened directly on to the street. I always thought he was shot while answering a knock at that door.

As I looked at the building, then my map, then the street signs and then the building again I realized I was at the right place, but I wanted to be sure. I walked to the guard house, which I would assume wasn’t there 25 years before, and asked the guard “Is this the Dakota?” He nodded. He must get that all the time. What must it be like living or working in a building known for something so terrible. I suppose people are working today in the Texas Schoolbook Depository. Life really does go on, doesn't it.

It is a magnificent building. I was most impressed by the cast iron faces on the railing along the sidewalk, and the enormous gaslights above the entrance.

A short walk to Strawberry Fields in Central Park, and there was the memorial. It was quiet. That is until we were surrounded by what was easily a hundred teenage girls, and it was pretty  obvious they were on a tour, direct from Japan. In a matter of seconds, they were everywhere. They all wore the same school uniform, but with different, tiny backpacks and purses. It was as close as I've ever come to a flash mob.

The Japanese girls, and there were more arriving by the minute, and the girl I was with, and I stood and looked at the mosaic and snapped pictures. I had always imagined it as colorful, but it’s pretty much light gray and dark gray. Still, it’s simplicity of message and place warmed by heart. It also made me sad.

The girl and I discussed what the world had missed in 25 years without John Lennon. She thought that perhaps his popularity and message would have faded. That he was a man of his time. She was a Republican.

I thought that the Double Vision album was an re-awakening for him, that he would have continued on with more music from his heart, with a message of love and peace and acceptance. Sure, he might have pissed some people off, but he would have no regrets. And he would have made things right with Julian, his oldest son.

He would play solo concerts with piano and guitar for charities. He'd keep working on his art and dabble with photography. He would stand by his wife. He would produce his sons’s music. I'm pretty sure he would have appeared on Letterman many times.

The world would have looked to him for meaning and hope when his adopted city was attacked on September 11, 2001. He would have spoken out against the war in Iraq.

He would be an ambassador to the world from his imagined future, a future of peace and love and understanding.

John Lennon has fulfilled that last role, even in death. But I still miss him.

Good running,

Numbers: 5.1 miles on trails.